Job Listings

Research Software Engineer

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Laboratory and Research
Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Job Summary

Participate in the design of software that supports and enriches research productivity and reliability; implement software solutions. Develop software and data services with researchers to ensure that modern standards of reproducible code are kept.

Job-Specific Responsibilities

Job-Specific Responsibilities:

Harvard University is hiring a Research Software Engineer (RSE) to support researchers' high-performance scientific software development, numerical analysis, and machine learning (ML) needs. This project plays an essential role in helping facilitate cutting-edge research on the brain. Through regular engagements with researchers, this RSE will help with the refactoring of a legacy software package for clustering electrophysiological neural data (spike sorting). They will improve code design, unit testing, performance of statistical/numerical libraries, cloud-readiness, as well as porting to general-purpose scientific programming languages (Python, C++, Julia). Additionally, the RSE will make a modular software structure to test different clustering and cluster-tracking algorithms utilizing ML and deep learning (DL) techniques. This position works within a team of Research Software Engineers and researchers at the Center for Brain Science within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and reports to the Associate Director of Research Software Engineering.

Department Description:

Harvard University Research Computing continues to evolve, expand services, and supportits leading research faculty and their collaborators around the world. These services include maintaining over 100,000 cores of high-performance computing, cloud computing, virtual machines, storage, databases, instrumentation core facility workstations, and other development platforms as well as directly engaging with researchers through help requests, online chat, office hours, training, and in-depth consultations. Research Computing has numerous other successful collaborations, including building the MGHPCC ( in Holyoke, MA with leading partner universities. It is with these institutions that the newly NSF-funded NESE project was launched ( that will create a regional data science repository. Boston University and Harvard also have a strong collaboration supporting the US Atlas Project ( as the North East Tier 2 (NET2) site, which is connected to the Open Science Grid. The Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, Research & Education and Facilitation project (, has enabled us to develop a team of facilitators. Research Computing at Harvard has a track record of building partnerships to accelerate research and collaboration.

We are committed to cultivating not only the diversity of our faculty, staff, and students but also in developing an inclusive culture that is vibrant, engaging and encouraging of innovation as well as intellectual debate. We believe creating and maintaining an inclusive workplace allows employees from all backgrounds and walks of life to achieve their fullest potential. We also believe an inclusive culture is one that accepts, values and views as strength the difference we all bring to the workplace.

Typical Core Duties
  • Collaborate with researchers in the design, planning, and implementation software that enriches research productivity and reliability
  • Build understanding of research activities through regular engagements
  • Provide feedback on scope of work and project plan and track progress of regular milestones
  • Build and maintain aspects of software code and custom data processing pipelines for complex environments
  • Apply firm understanding of specific technology to develop custom solutions to meet researchers' needs
  • Work in a team of developers and researchers in collaboration with systems professionals
  • Provide regular communications to project leads with updates
  • Build internal code design and development guides for future contributors
  • Teach workshops for researchers on sustainable software and data management practices
  • Abide by and follow the Harvard University IT technical standards, policies and Code of Conduct
Basic Qualifications
  • Minimum of five years' post-secondary education or relevant work experience
Additional Qualifications and Skills
  • Strong scientific programming skills (Python, Julia, or C++ are preferred).
  • Hands-on experience in the implementation of numerical and statistical methods.

  • Demonstrated knowledge and practical experience with parallel programming (OpenMP or MPI).

  • Knowledge of basic ML/DL techniques (clustering, dimensionality reduction, etc).

  • Knowledge of most common numerical libraries in Python (Numpy, SciPy, Pandas), C++ (Intel MKL, mlpack, NAG library, LAPACK++), or Julia.

  • Experience with containerization technologies such as Docker and Singularity.

  • Knowledge of GPGPU is a plus.

  • Prior experience with neural data analysis is a plus.

  • Knowledge of basic statistical methods.

  • Experience with Linux and distributed computing.

  • Comfortable working with version control systems such as git.

Certificates and Licenses
  • Completion of Harvard IT Academy specified foundational courses (or external equivalent) preferred
Working Conditions
  • Occasionally required to work outside of normal business hours, and may be contacted during off hours
Additional Information
  • This is a twelve-month term appointment with the possibility of extension based on satisfactory performance and continued availability of funding.
  • We regret that Harvard does not provide work authorization and/or visa sponsorship for this position.
  • All formal offers will be made by FAS Human Resources.
  • We invite individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences and abilities to be a part of our community.
  • During the current period of COVID-19 related restrictions, this position may start as a remote position, with transition to working onsite in Cambridge, Massachusetts when our campus reopens.
Job Function
Information Technology

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
I1257P IT RC Software/Data Prof III


FAS Research Computing

Time Status

Salary Grade

00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.
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